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France in the Age of Absolutism PowerPoint Presentation
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France in the Age of Absolutism

France in the Age of Absolutism

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France in the Age of Absolutism

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  1. France in the Age of Absolutism “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” -Lord Acton

  2. What is Absolutism? • Power = King • Kings ruled by “divine right” • God “chooses” kings • Little Gods on earth • Pros and Cons of absolutism?

  3. Henry IV • Rules 1589-1610 • Founder of the Bourbon Dynasty • Huguenot – Converts to Catholicism • “Paris is worth a mass”

  4. Henry IV – Edict of Nantes • 1598 • Guaranteed religious freedom to French Protestants • 150 fortified towns

  5. French Tax System • Three “Estates” (Classes) • 1st Estate -Clergy • 2nd Estate - Nobility • 3rd Estate - Artisans, merchants, peasants • Nobility and Clergy gain exemptions • Tax burden falls on Third Estate

  6. Louis XIII • Henry IV assassinated in 1610 • Louis XIII becomes King of France • Eight years old • Mother appoints a regent • Cardinal Richelieu becomes chief minister

  7. Cardinal Richelieu • 1585-1642 • Goal: Place ALL power in hands of King • Took power from nobles • Executions • Intendants • Took rights from Huguenots

  8. Intendants • Royal officials • Middle Class, Lesser Nobility • Reduce the power of the Nobility or Aristocracy

  9. Richelieu: Foreign Policy • Goals: POWER AND LAND • Thirty Years’ War • Protestant rebellion against HRE • French entered the War on the Protestant side? • To weaken the Hapsburgs

  10. Louis XIV: “Sun King” • Ruled 1643-1715 • 72 Years longest reign in Europe • Built Versailles • Increased France’s wealth & Power • Repealed Edict of Nantes • Costly Wars

  11. Versailles Statistics • 2,000 acres of grounds • 12 miles of roads • 27 miles of trellises • 200,000 trees • 210,000 flowers planted every year • 80 miles of rows of trees • 55 acres surface area of the Grand Canal • 12 miles of enclosing walls • 50 fountains and 620 fountain nozzles • 21 miles of water conduits • 3,600 cubic meters per hour: water consumed • 26 acres of roof • 51,210 square meters of floors • 2,153 windows • 700 rooms • 67 staircases • 6,000 paintings • 1,500 drawings and 15,000 engravings • 2,100 sculptures • 5,000 items of furniture and objects d'art • 150 varieties of apple and peach trees in the Vegetable Garden

  12. Palace at Versailles • few miles outside of Paris • Originally a hunting lodge • Construction begins in 1661 • Hall of Mirrors: 357 mirrors

  13. Why Versailles? • Built to symbolize monarch’s dominance • French power • Control nobility • Other countries

  14. Jean-Baptiste Colbert • 1665-1683 – Minister of Finance • Strict mercantilist • France should import NOTHING • Encouraged French exploration of Canada

  15. Wars of Louis XIV • Under Louis XIV, France is at war for 33 years • Wars meant to expand French territory • Enormous debt